• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Asian Studies
  • Areas of interest Non Language Asian Studies, Cultural Studies, Health Medicine and the Body, Biotechnology, Political Economy

What is the relationship between the body and biotechnology in contemporary life? How do questions of race, gender, post-coloniality, and trans/nationalism shape medical and scientific understandings of the body? This discussion-intensive course explores these questions through a focus on embodiment in Chinese cultures. No Chinese language skills are required. We will contextualise common assumptions about race, gender, and other seemingly “natural” categories in science and medicine by reading a range of materials, which may include such topics as Chinese science fiction, speculative art, queer studies, or critical writing on the body in film and popular media. While we draw heavily on examples from Chinese, Asian, and Ethnic or Diasporic Studies, the course also welcomes interested postgraduate students from diverse disciplinary and area-studies backgrounds who are interested in postcolonial understandings of corporeality, and discussions in class will build on readings and students’ individual research presentations. Students are expected to bring or develop their own project on a topic related to the body in medicine, science, visual culture, queer studies, or popular media to introduce and present over the course of the class. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate an expanded knowledge of critical approaches to the body in contemporary Chinese cultures and its impact on perceptions of Asian identity/identities
  2. Analyse developments in biotech and the body in light of race, class, gender, sexuality, and/or other hierarchical categories
  3. Critically evaluate, synthesise and construct evidence-based arguments, integrating theoretical frameworks
  4. Contextualise learning from STEM areas in terms of broader humanities frameworks
  5. Communicate findings effectively to scholarly and/or applied audiences

Indicative Assessment

  1. Critical reflection - Essay 1 (1700 words) (25) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  2. Critical reflection - Essay 2 (1700 words) (25) [LO 1,2,4,5]
  3. Presentation on readings #1 (5) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  4. Presentation on readings #2 (5) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  5. Presentation on readings #3 (5) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  6. Final research project (1800 words) (25) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  7. Participation (10) [LO 1,2,4,5]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This course requires 130 hours of study, including time for self-study.

Inherent Requirements

Postgraduate students only

Prescribed Texts

Students should plan on purchasing about 5 books (approximately $25 each) that will be required in addition to what I can place Wattle or reserve in the library. Hard copy or e-copy are both fine, but students will be responsible for securing copies in time for the class.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4080
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6000
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Spring Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9268 01 Oct 2026 23 Oct 2026 23 Oct 2026 31 Dec 2026 In Person N/A

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